Sir Bob Murray

Welcome to the official website of Sir Bob Murray CBE.

This is the life of a prolific businessman and philanthropist with an enduring passion for education and football. Sir Bob’s achievements and successes are attributed to a firm belief in a strong work ethic, based on lifelong learning and education and aided by drive, determination and a not insignificant amount of good luck!

“I’ve enjoyed creating buildings, businesses and relationships. I rarely do things alone and take strength from working in partnership with great people. Having a good reputation and being trusted is important and I believe in approaching everything I do with sincerity and integrity.”

Using the interactive timeline below, explore key points in his business and football career and milestones throughout his life from early childhood to the present day. You can search by business, football or milestones, using key words in the search box or by clicking on dates on the timeline.

Sir Bob Murray

Explore Timeline

2014

September 2014

  1. Picture by Vicky Matthers iconphotomedia

    Proud to be Chancellor of Leeds Beckett

      I am proud to be the Chancellor of Leeds Beckett University, which changes its name from Leeds Metropolitan University today. Congratulations to all at the University who have made this important milestone possible. I…

    Read More

     

    I am proud to be the Chancellor of Leeds Beckett University, which changes its name from Leeds Metropolitan University today.

    Congratulations to all at the University who have made this important milestone possible. I know that a lot of work from many colleagues has gone into making this step forward.

    The university has changed its name in order to be more distinctive and has also launched its new strapline; Leeds Beckett University: Opening Minds, Opening Doors.

    In business, and when leading any large organisation, those who lead it need to make big decisions. It’s so important to be bold in the decisions you take and stick to what you believe in. I know this myself from personal experience when Sunderland AFC moved from Roker Park to the Stadium of Light. The fans were not always 100% behind the changes but very quickly after the move the majority realised it was the right decision for the club in the long term.

    There may still be people who aren’t fully signed up to Leeds Beckett yet, but I’m sure in time they will be, when they realise what a positive and important strategic step it is for the university.

    Many congratulations to Leeds Beckett University on this exciting day – I look forward to many more years as Chancellor of this great institution.

    Read more here: http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/debate/columnists/bob-murray-proud-to-lead-university-into-new-era-1-6853614

    Print Ready Version

April 2014

  1. Chester-le-Street annual dinner

    Sir Bob enjoyed a wonderful evening at the annual sporting dinner held by the Chester-le-Street branch of the Sunderland Supporters’ Association. The dinner was organised by fans and attended by many red-and-white supporters as well…

    Read More

    Sir Bob enjoyed a wonderful evening at the annual sporting dinner held by the Chester-le-Street branch of the Sunderland Supporters’ Association.

    The dinner was organised by fans and attended by many red-and-white supporters as well as representatives from the club.

    Sir Bob said: “I had a fantastic evening and it was great to catch up with so many people, including former Sunderland manager Denis Smith.

    “The atmosphere was great and we were all chatting about the match at Manchester City from the previous night. Many of us were all still reeling from their late goal which cost us the game!”

    Click below to read Sunderland Echo Sport Writer Graeme Anderson’s review of the evening.

    Chester le Street Dinner

    Print Ready Version

March 2014

  1. Sir Bob at Wembley before the Capital One Cup Final

    Sir Bob’s Cup Final Review

        “It was fantastic to be a Sunderland supporter at Wembley. I felt really proud of the team and how they played and of the fans. The atmosphere was electric and you could see…

    Read More

     

    Sir Bob at Wembley before the Capital One Cup Final

     

    “It was fantastic to be a Sunderland supporter at Wembley. I felt really proud of the team and how they played and of the fans. The atmosphere was electric and you could see what it meant to every SAFC fan to be there. Everyone around me said they’d never heard a roar like it when Sunderland scored.

    “ I thought Gus got it right too in terms of selection, subs and tactics. It was a big occasion and he and the team did us all proud.

    “I’ve always really loved Manchester City as a club. They are a big community club like Sunderland and the fans have backed their club in good and bad times, despite living in the shadow of Manchester United for many years.

    “They know what it’s like to have ups and downs and not so long ago had to endure lower divisions. But, I don’t think we were beaten by that Manchester City on Sunday, the thing that separated us was money.

    “I really hope all the players and the fans can take all the pride and positives from the game and it lifts everyone for the rest of the season.”

    Print Ready Version

February 2014

  1. Sir Bob’s Cup Final Countdown

      Sir Bob chatted to The Journal’s sports writer Stuart Rayner about the highs and lows of being a Sunderland supporter and reflected on Sunderland’s history at Wembley. Click the links below to read the…

    Read More

     

    Sir Bob at Wembley

    Sir Bob chatted to The Journal’s sports writer Stuart Rayner about the highs and lows of being a Sunderland supporter and reflected on Sunderland’s history at Wembley.

    Click the links below to read the article.

    The Ballad of the Black Cats and Wembley finals 1

    The Ballad of the Black Cats and Wembley finals 2

     

     

    Print Ready Version
2013

July 2013

  1. Willowburn-logo-whitebg

    Sir Bob’s support for Willow Burn Hospice building project

      Sir Bob has expressed his support towards a building project which will create a £5.7m state of the art building for a North East hospice charity. Willow Burn Hospice on Maiden Law Bank, Lanchester,…

    Read More

     

    Sir Bob has expressed his support towards a building project which will create a £5.7m state of the art building for a North East hospice charity.

    Willow Burn Hospice on Maiden Law Bank, Lanchester, Co Durham was established 24 years ago and has since been operating from a former isolation hospital ward which dates back to the 1950s.

    The current facilities are not in a good physical condition and no longer meet operational requirements on many levels. The increased demand for services has also proved to be a challenge, with little flexibility in the way that the building can be used.

    Phase one of the project began in July 2013 and is due to be completed by spring next year. Additional fundraising is required for phases two and three. The start of the project was marked by a ceremonial lifting of the first sod of turf by the longest serving member of the nursing the team.

    Bob commented on the project, saying; “I grew up Consett so it will always be a special place to me. I have visited the hospice several times and have seen the plans for the new hospice, which look amazing. The staff at Willowburn are really dedicated and do a fantastic job. They make such a difference to the lives of so many people and I’m delighted to support the hospice.”

     

    For more information about Willowburn Hospice visit http://www.willow-burn.co.uk/ or to make a donation http://www.justgiving.com/willowburnhospice

    Print Ready Version
  1. RSM Leeds Met Graduation 3 - making speech

    Sir Bob attends first graduation ceremony as Chancellor

    Sir Bob Murray has attended his first graduation ceremony as Chancellor of Leeds Metropolitan University. As part of his Chancellor role Bob made a speech congratulating students on their academic success. Welcoming the graduands and…

    Read More

    Sir Bob Murray has attended his first graduation ceremony as Chancellor of Leeds Metropolitan University.

    As part of his Chancellor role Bob made a speech congratulating students on their academic success.

    Welcoming the graduands and their families, Bob encouraged the ceremony to be a celebration by saying: “We are here to celebrate the outstanding achievements of the School of Social, Psychological and Communication Sciences.

    “I am asking you all to give whole hearted applause and cheering throughout the ceremony. Let’s make this a real celebration.”

    Bob praised graduands for their hard work throughout their time at university: “Believe me, I find it positively humbling to stand on this stage greeting you and congratulating you.

    “I am under no illusion as to the amount of time, sacrifice and sheer commitment demonstrated by you all.

    “You have shown great tenacity and spirit. You set a goal, you achieved it. You are entitled to feel very, very proud.”

    Addressing the University staff, Bob added: “I thank and congratulate the educators, mentors, advisors and staff of this very special university for their dedication in advancing your education.

    Bob also offered inspirational advice to the students about to graduate and embark on the next chapter of their lives; “Focus on working hard, be determined to learn more, aim to become better at what you do best and aspire to a life of adventure and achievement.”

    “I wish you good luck and great fortune. In whatever task you set yourself, you go equipped. Do it well, and you will end up amazing yourself!”

    Bob was installed as Chancellor of Leeds Metropolitan University in an official ceremony in January at the university’s Great Hall.

    Bob’s connection with the university dates back to 1969 when he moved to Yorkshire to study accountancy part-time at Leeds Polytechnic.

    In 2008, Bob was awarded an honorary doctorate in business administration for his contribution to business and sport by the university.

     

    Print Ready Version
  1. Featured story image

    George Clarke joins Foundation of Light

    Sunderland-born TV personality George Clarke has been appointed Trustee of the Foundation of Light after being personally invited by Sir Bob. George, who was born and raised in Sunderland, studied architecture at the University of…

    Read More

    Chair of Trustees of the Foundation of Light, Sir Bob Murray with George Clarke

    Sunderland-born TV personality George Clarke has been appointed Trustee of the Foundation of Light after being personally invited by Sir Bob.

    George, who was born and raised in Sunderland, studied architecture at the University of Newcastle and is now Creative Director of London-based architectural practice George Clarke + Partners which has established a reputation for designing and building high quality, award winning projects throughout the UK and abroad.

    George is also a writer, lecturer and TV presenter and has presented popular TV shows including Build a New Life in the Country, The Home Show, Restoration Man and George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces.

    Bob invited George to join the board after Lord Puttnam of Queensgate CBE stepped down from the board earlier this year.

    Speaking of his appointment, George said; “I’m delighted to join the Foundation of Light as a trustee and want to publically express my thanks to Sir Bob for asking me.

    “Being from the North East I am keen to be involved in the regeneration of the region in any way I can. The Foundation is doing some fantastic work across Sunderland, South Tyneside and County Durham and it’s a real privilege to be able to accept this official role with them.”

    Bob added; “George has a real grasp of the importance of community and like the Foundation of Light, is passionate about regeneration and helping to transform people’s lives.

    “I am certain his creative perspective and vast experience in architecture will further strengthen our Board.

    “His public profile will also be a huge asset and will help us to convey the importance of the Foundation’s work to the public and other stakeholders.”

    The Foundation of Light uses the power of football to involve, educate and inspire more than 42,000 young people and their families across the North East each year.

    Print Ready Version

May 2013

  1. charles_alcock_sm

    Campaign to honour Charles Alcock

    The forgotten hero who created the world’s most famous club competition is to be honoured forty years after SAFC won the FA Cup. Sir Bob has been championing the cause of Charles William Alcock, a…

    Read More

    The forgotten hero who created the world’s most famous club competition is to be honoured forty years after SAFC won the FA Cup.

    Sir Bob has been championing the cause of Charles William Alcock, a Sunderland-born pioneer of the ‘beautiful game.’ Not only was Alcock behind the FA Cup, he also organised the first international football match.

    “Not many people know the name Charles William Alcock, that he was one of the founding fathers of modern-day football or that he came from Sunderland. His name is not synonymous with modern day football or sport, but perhaps it should be,” said Sir Bob.

    Charles W. Alcock was born in Norfolk Street in Sunderland in 1842, one of five sons of a shipbuilder originally from Durham. The family moved from Sunderland to London during the 1850s.

    “Alcock made a huge contribution to football and was a pioneer of modern football playing styles. He was responsible for the first ever international football match, but probably more apt this year as Sunderland celebrates the 40th Anniversary of their win, he created The FA Cup,” explained Sir Bob.

    Alcock devoted his life to sport first as a player and later as an influential and leading administrator and also a journalist. He guided The FA and his progressive thinking led to the rapid development of the national game and modern playing styles and the establishment of league football.

    He joined the FA Committee in 1866 and was appointed Honorary Secretary of The FA in 1870 and served in that role until 1895. He conceived and established the FA Cup, and even captained the first ever winning side, Wanderer’s at The Oval in 1872. He later refereed the 1875 and 1879 Finals.

    He also captained England in the first ever international football match against Scotland in 1870, although this game is considered unofficial by football historians and doesn’t appear in any record books. Nonetheless the match paved the way for the first officially recognised international match between Scotland and England in 1872. Alcock was selected to captain the England side but missed out due to injury.

    In 1895 he was appointed Vice President of The FA and 26 years later toured with England when the side visited Berlin and Prague for the first time. As part of his enormous contribution to sport he was also the Secretary of Surrey CCC from 1872 and helped arrange the first ever Test Match to be played in England.

     “I’ve always enjoyed a great working relationship with The FA and was delighted to be asked to get involved with the development of the new Wembley Stadium and more recently St George’s Park,” said Sir Bob

    “But, I always believed Charles Alcock deserved more recognition and have mentioned his name to a few people over the years. I recently decided to write to the FA Chairman David Bernstein to ask him to install a plaque or something befitting this eminent man at Wembley Stadium.

    “David wrote back to me and wholeheartedly agrees that Alcock made an incredibly important contribution to the history of our game and confirmed – after discussing it with the Executive Team leading The FA’s 150th Anniversary Celebrations – that he will be honoured in a number of ways this year.

    “I’m thrilled that Charles Alcock will finally get the recognition he so truly deserves.

    “The FA has given its full support to the restaging of the first FA Cup Final that Alcock was responsible for at The Oval between Royal Engineers and Wanderers. There could be no more fitting a venue for the commemoration of this match than The Oval, where Alcock also served Surrey CCC with such distinction as well.”

    In partnership with the National Football Museum The FA is also undertaking a significant project to find out more about the founding fathers of football and The FA. The project will be launched later in the year and this could include a permanent tribute being made to honour Alcock – and other founding fathers – at Wembley.

    Print Ready Version

January 2013

  1. Sir Bob Murray Kickz Pic 1 (4)

    Sir Bob chats to nebusiness and visits youth project in Derwentside

    Sir Bob met up with Peter Jackson to chat about old times and do a profile piece for neBusiness and The Journal when he was in the north east.   View Article Page 1 View…

    Read More

    Sir Bob met up with Peter Jackson to chat about old times and do a profile piece for neBusiness and The Journal when he was in the north east.

     

    View Article Page 1
    View Article Page 2

     

    Later in the day he visited Derwentside to see at first-hand the impact of a youth project in Consett, Co. Durham.
    Sir Bob, who is the founder and Chair of Trustees for the Foundation of Light praised the work of the family learning and Kickz programme, which was launched in Consett and Stanley last year.

    The programme provides a range of sport related activities for 13 to 19-year-olds and has achieved impressive results in the region.
    It was expanded to Derwentside following a new partnership between Derwentside Homes and the Foundation of Light.
    The award-winning Kickz programme uses the power of football to engage with young people in local communities and aims is to reduce anti-social behaviour,
    teach youngsters valuable skills and increase their confidence.

    The Foundation has also rolled out its successful Family Learning programme in Derwentside, which offers first steps learning to parents and carers, as well as adult learning courses and qualifications.

    Since it was launched in April 2012, over 1,780 youngsters have participated in the Kickz evening, holiday and daytime sessions in schools across the District. Police have also reported that since May 2012, crime has reduced by 72% in the Consett town centre area.

    Over 40 local families have engaged in Family Learning courses in Derwentside since September 2012 and of those, 27 families have fully completed the courses.

    Sir Bob said: “It’s fantastic to see the positive impact that the Foundation is already having in the Derwentside area.”

    “One of the Foundation’s aims is to give people the opportunity to change their lives for the better and the support of organisations such as Derwentside Homes really make this possible by helping us into the heart of communities.”

    “I always believe that a huge amount of credit should go to those who take part in the programmes and are willing to give new things a go. It was a real pleasure meeting some of those people today and they are a real inspiration to all of us at the Foundation of Light.”

    Derwentside Homes’ chief executive Geraldine Wilcox said: “It was really generous of Sir Bob to come and visit the project and meet the youngsters and families that benefit from these activities. He is an ambassador for the North East and an inspiration to young people.

    “Since it was launched, the programme has grown from strength to strength and results demonstrate that through effective partnership working, we can make a difference to the lives of people who live in our communities.

    “Young people are the future so it important that we show our commitment by investing in services for them which will have a long lasting impact on a future generation.”

    Kickz sessions take place weekly at Derwentside College and The Chill In in Consett and Stanley Youth Centre and St. Stephen’s Church in Stanley.

    For more information about the Foundation of Light click here http://www.safc.com/foundation-of-light

    Print Ready Version
  1. leeds_chanceller_300x125

    Sir Bob installed as Chancellor at Leeds Metropolitan

    Sir Bob was installed as Leeds Metropolitan University’s new Chancellor during an official ceremony in the university’s Great Hall on Monday 28th January. The formal occasion began with 100 representatives from across the university leading…

    Read More


    Sir Bob was installed as Leeds Metropolitan University’s new Chancellor during an official ceremony in the university’s Great Hall on Monday 28th January.

    The formal occasion began with 100 representatives from across the university leading a procession, followed by a showcase of student work, including music and dance performances.

    Vice Chancellor Professor Susan Price welcomed guests while Jenny Share, Secretary and Registrar, gave a citation detailing Sir Bob’s achievements to date. Following his installation, the Lord Mayor of Leeds offered Sir Bob a civic welcome.

    The university announced Bob was to be their new figurehead in October last year. As an alumnus of Leeds Met, his links with the university date back to 1969 when he moved to Yorkshire to study accountancy part-time at the university’s predecessor institution, Leeds Polytechnic. Some years later, in 2008, he was awarded an honorary doctorate in business administration by Leeds Metropolitan for his contribution to business and sport.

    Speaking during the Inauguration ceremony Sir Bob said: “I’m both astonished and thrilled to be here today. I feel very privileged to be invited to be Chancellor of this esteemed institution and I would like to thank the University for granting me this unique position.

    “I’ve strived to achieve many goals in my life, but I would never have dreamt that being Chancellor of a major University, with 30,000 students and staff, would become one of them!”
    Talking about his own education he said: “If you had read my school reports, I am not sure I would be standing here today! The fact is I failed at School. In part due to a childhood setback, but also a modest work ethic! I believe my personal story to be apt though, as it demonstrates the power of education.
    “I was born just after the war in the baby boom of 1946. When I left school in 1961 there were twice as many school leavers seeking employment as there were jobs. As there was no prospect of me joining the local steelworks where my dad worked, I was unemployed for a year. That experience was the hardest but also the most important of my life. It had a profound effect and changed my life.”

    “It gave me a lifelong driving ambition to succeed and I finally woke up and understood the importance of education.” “I am especially thrilled to be taking on this role in Leeds. I came to Yorkshire in 1969 for 2 years to advance my career. That was 44 years ago! Yorkshire is now my adopted home and I have spent my entire business career here.

    Reflecting on his business career he added, “Throughout my career I’ve always been passionate about building things. I’m inspired by creating businesses, developing major projects and forming relationships. I never do things alone, always choosing to work in partnership with great people. I believe in approaching everything I do with sincerity and integrity.”

    “I hope my experience in business and lifelong focus on education will give me the necessary qualities to support the university, its outstanding staff and the next generation of leaders, entrepreneurs and professionals to achieve their ambitions and aspirations.”

    Inauguration Invitation

    Leeds Metropolitan University  

    •     Leeds Metropolitan University has over 27,000 students and around 2,800 staff.

    •     The Vice Chancellor of Leeds Metropolitan University is Professor Susan Price and the Chair of the Board is Lord Woolmer of Leeds.

    •      Leeds Metropolitan’s four faculties are: Arts, Environment and Technology, Business & Law, Health and Social Sciences, and Carnegie.

    •      Leeds Metropolitan’s heritage can be traced back to the founding of the Mechanics Institute in Leeds in 1824.

    •      The Destination of Leavers in Higher Education (DLHE) showed that the proportion of Leeds Metropolitan 2010/11 graduates in work, further study or both six months after leaving university was 91.87%.

    •      Libraries and Learning Innovation at Leeds Metropolitan was awarded the CSE standard for the tenth year running in 2012.

    •      In 2012, Leeds Metropolitan was awarded a ‘First’ in the People & Planet Green League, a league table of environmentally friendly universities, for the sixth consecutive year.

    The Video FramePlay Button

    The Video FramePlay Button

    Print Ready Version